Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Increasing school-day physical activity = higher overall daily physical activity in youth
Increasing school-day physical activity through policy and programs is commonly suggested to prevent obesity and improve overall child health. However, strategies that focus on Cif youth compensate by reducing physical activity outside of school.
Objectively measured, nationally representative physical activity data were used in this study to test the hypothesis that higher school-day physical activity is associated with higher overall daily physical activity in youth.
Accelerometer data from 2003–2004/2005–2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys were analyzed in 2012 to estimate physical activity levels during the school day (8am–3pm) among youth aged 6–19 years (n=2548).
Each additional minute of school-day moderate or vigorous physical activity (MVPA) was associated with 0.14 additional minutes outside the school day, controlling for total daily accelerometer wear time and age, gender, race/ethnicity, and other non–time varying covariates. There were no differences in the effect of school-day MVPA on total MVPA by age group, gender, race/ethnicity, poverty status, or degree of change in MVPA.
Higher school-day MVPA was associated with higher daily MVPA among U.S. youth with no evidence for same-day “compensation.” Increasing school-based physical activity is a promising approach that can improve total daily physical activity levels of youth.